The two first ladies of arena rock are back with a brand new release after a six years hiatus: “Red Velvet Car” does just what it says on the cover. No silly attempts at conquering teenagers, yet a fresh sound that makes it hard to believe the Wilson sisters started way back in the 70s. They know the best way to go is to do what you do better, and this is for sure one of the finest releases from the Seattle ground-breaking duo. Adding an acoustic gradient to the mix, Nancy further shows her musical capabilities, pinching notes out of guitars, mandolins, dobros, banjos, fiddles, violas, cellos and harps, with the help of Grammy winner producer Ben Mink.
From gritty ‘WTF’ to more romantic ‘Queen City’, from joyful ‘Hey You’ to darker ‘Death Valley’, sure the Wilsons’s song writing skills are still outstanding; they slightly move from angle to angle at every song, making this album a pleasant unbroken yet diverse experience. Angels voices and rock guitars, harps an bass, good and evil, old and new, all happily together, yes, in one word… Who said chaos?!? Get out! ‘Harmony, that’s the word.
All the songs are penned from personal life experiences, and that may be what gives “Red Velvet Car” such a smooth, down to earth vibe. Well-arranged and produced in every detail, still you can kind of feel Ann and Nancy sitting with a guitar, creating the first riff, adding the words. Surely none of this tracks would sounds bad in an acoustic version, and in fact closer ‘Sand’ was firstly recorded in 1990 for the Wilsons’ acoustic project The Lovemongers.
There are two bonus tracks (European disc only, TDHS) and I can’t find details about them, so I can’t guarantee you’re going to find them on your copy, but I really hope you do: ‘Bootful of Beer’ would be a bit of a typical Eighties song, but there are sounds and instruments I can promise you’re not going to find on any hard rock or hair metal hit. I’d love to see this one played live. The choice for the grand finale is heart-warming ballad ‘Closer to the Sun’, which leaves me peacefully enjoying whatever little is left of this glorious sunny day: Sunday evenings don’t get much better than this…